Current Faculty News

Chris Bauer has received the first Ted Ashford Fellowship in support of a sabbatical leave to join the ACS Examinations Institute at Iowa State University, where Chris will be collaborating with Director Tom Holme and his group on innovations in assessment. Ashford was head of the Examinations "Committee" for more than 40 years, 1944-1986. Chris has an NSF grant for running day-long college chemistry pedagogy workshops at major research-intensive chemistry departments for graduate students and postdocs. These have all been oversubscribed.

In 2007, Art Greenberg published two books related to the history of chemistry: “From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story” (John Wiley & Sons) and “Chemistry: Decade By Decade”, a volume in the series “Twentieth Century Science” (Facts On File). A Portuguese translation of the Wiley book is in press. Current research with PhD candidate Jessica Morgan involves investigations related to the metabolic ring opening of benzene and has resulted in a recent publication in J. Org. Chem. Research with MS candidate Brian Sliter involves investigation of the site of protonation of distorted amide linkages. This last academic year, B.S. student Brett Bauer used XPS to understand the history of an early (16th to 18th century) Hessian crucible. Art presented talks on the history of chemistry to the local chapter Alpha Chi Sigma each semester as well as to the regional meeting of Alpha Chi Sigma at UNH in April. He is also chairing the Parsons Hall Renovation Committee and sings with the Portsmouth Pro Musica.

After two and a half years of hard work, the Meg Greenslade research group is up and running, despite having to move operations to Hewitt Hall recently in preparation for Parsons renovation. The group is investigating aerosol optical properties using a custom-built cavity ring down instrument and a novel differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) instrument. Both instruments are field ready and it is hoped that the DOAS will be out at Thompson Farm during the summer of 2010. In the fall of 2009, work on hygroscopicity of clay aerosols and the characterization of the DOAS instrument was presented at the American Association of Aerosol Research conference in Minneapolis, MN and at the Northeast Regional ACS meeting in Hartford, CT, respectively. Alexis Attwood is a third year Ph.D. student and Ryan Chartier received his M.S. this summer.

Richard Johnson’s labs are humming this summer with four graduate students and two undergraduates. Johnson received a grant recently from the National Science Foundation to pursue research on reactive intermediate chemistry. He was program Chair for the 2008 Reaction mechanisms Conference which was held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry and a member of the ETS Committee that writes the Graduate Record Exam. Recent research highlights include the development of microwave flash pyrolysis, a technique for carrying out high temperature reactions in a microwave reactor, publication of a review on dehydropericyclic reactions and the development of a new theory for predicting regio- and stereochemistry in bimolecular reactions that beats the heck out of FMO methods.

Howard Mayne was the recipient of the Ronald T. Pflaum Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award (2008) for work with the UNH chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity. He is collaborating with Barkley Sive in the Center for the Investigation of Earth, Oceans and Space carrying out research in atmospheric chemistry, measuring and modeling the formation and fate of various trace compounds in the atmosphere. Recent graduates include Carsten Nielsen (M.S. 09) (monoterpenes), Jesse Ambrose (Ph.D. 09) (nitrogen oxides and HCN), and Leanna Conway (M.S. 09) (nitryl chloride). Sean Cleary (M.S. 08) obtained his degree in a more traditional area for the group – molecular modeling.

In June of 2008, Glen Miller was awarded a named professorship at UNH, the Class of 1944 Professorship. In 2009, the Nanoscale Science & Engineering Center at the University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University and UMass Lowell (UNH Director, Glen Miller) was renewed by the National Science Foundation providing $12.5M of funding for 5 additional years of nanomanufacturing research, education and outreach activities. Also in 2009, Glen was awarded a US Patent entitled “Three-Dimensional Nanoelement Selection and Assembly”. In 2008 and 2009, he gave invited seminars at Tufts University, Syracuse University, Northeastern University, Columbia University and the University of Cincinnati. At Cincinnati, he had an opportunity to visit with James Mack, the first Miller group Ph.D. and a recently tenured Associate Professor of Chemistry. Since 2008, Glen has funded 12 REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) and 5 RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) positions and made classroom presentations to over 500 NH based K-12 students and teachers. He also co-organized (with Subhash Minocha) a nanotechnology component of Project SMART each of the past 3 years. In April, 2010, he will co-host (with Outreach Coordinator Susan Greenberg) approximately 50 K-12 teachers for the 6th Annual K-12 Teacher Nanotechnology Conference at the University of New Hampshire. Glen is currently finishing his sabbatical year by writing several papers and proposals. He also has enjoyed coaching youth basketball, softball, and baseball teams.
Miller Research Group activities:
Research Scientist Jonathan Briggs (B.S. 2000, M.S. 2002, Miller) is lead author on a chapter entitled “Hydrogenated [60]Fullerenes” in a book dedicated to hydrogenated fullerenes (Fulleranes, Springer Publishing, edited by Franco Catlado) published in the spring of 2010.
In 2009, postdoctoral fellow Irvinder Kaur spearheaded a research effort that included two undergraduates (Nathan Stein, Chemistry, class of 2010 and Polina Prusevich, Biochemistry, class of 2010) to prepare the first nonacene derivative. Nonacene is a member of the acene family of organic semiconductors. This work was published in JACS and highlighted in Chemical & Engineering News. This is Nathan's second paper in JACS. Polina was accepted to several graduate programs and chose Johns Hopkins University to pursue her graduate studies. Nathan and Irvinder presented separate posters at the 2010 National ACS Meeting in San Francisco. Since 2008, Irvinder has been lead author on 4 papers, including 3 published in JACS. She was recently promoted to Research Scientist at UNH.
In 2009, the Miller research Group became the 1st academic laboratory in the U.S. to purchase and install a Bruker SMART X2S benchtop crystallographic system, a revolutionary instrument that makes X-ray crystallography accessible to chemists without specialized training in X-ray crystallography. Research Scientist Jonathan Briggs maintains the instrument and has successfully solved over 50 crystal structures. Jon is lead author on the very first paper describing an X-ray crystal structure that was solved using the X2S instrument. Jon is now a recognized expert in the use of the X2S instrument and was invited to speak at the February, 2010 Bruker-AXS / MIT Symposium. This annual symposium held on the MIT campus attracted chemists and crystallographers from the greater New England area.
At the 2008 Materials Research Society international meeting in Boston, MA and the 2009 National ACS Meeting in Washington D.C., Jeremy Kintigh presented separate posters describing his efforts to hydrogenate nanostructured carbons including carbon nanotubes and graphene.
Miller group members Jeremy Kintigh, Ryan Kopreski, Chandrani Pramanik, Wenling Jia, Irvinder Kaur all presented posters at the at the 2008 Reaction Mechanisms Conference in Chapel Hill, N.C. Jeremy Kintigh and Wenling Jia both won awards for best presentation.

Rudi Seitz continues research on metal ion indicators for chemical sensing purposes. In collaboration with Roy Planalp, he has developed a system that provides a highly sensitive ratiometric response to metal ions, including those that normally quench fluorescence. Current efforts focus on detecting free Cu(II) but the approach is generally applicable to other metal ions.
Rudi has been teaching general chemistry in the last few years. Using an approach that includes weekly 80 minute problem solving sessions, he has been able to get to know most of his students. He’s having a good time and he thinks his students are learning some chemistry in the process. 
For the time being, Rudi is having too much fun with his job to consider retiring , even though he is to be banished to Spaulding for 2.5 years during the Parsons renovation. He expects to continue on the job for the foreseeable future, occupying the position of senior (and maybe wisest) active faculty member.

Sterling Tomellini and his group are completeing the move to their temporary digs in the Spaulding Life Sciences building. Several members of the Tomellini group (Liz Brady, Ilia Terova, Lee Lee Chung and Sterling) attended the Eastern Analytical Symposium in Somerset, New Jersey in November, 2009. Lee Lee gave a presentation on her research which is being conducted in collaboration with scientists at the NH Public Health Laboratories. The group met with former Tomellini group member Xiaoxuan Shen (Ph.D. 2006) and several members of the Hartwick research groups while at the conference.

Gary Weisman continues to enjoy both teaching and research. He recently finished up a 3 year rotation teaching the large introductory organic chemistry sequence and was gratified by the students positive response to his “old-school” lecturing with chalk and waving arms. He was awarded the 2009 College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. He also won it back in 1995, so he is suspicious that he has been here so long that the awards committee simply forgot that he had already won the award once. (The Department of Chemistry has dominated this award in recent years. Ed Wong and Richard Johnson have also been winners.) In research, Gary continues to be interested in both the synthetic and physical organic aspects of the chemistry of amines, polyamines, and other nitrogen-containing molecules. His long-term collaboration (over 20 years!) with Ed Wong has been both fun and fruitful. Their joint work with Carolyn Anderson (Washington University School of Medicine) on new polyamine ligand-based radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis is currently supported by a renewal 5-year NIH grant, and a successful ARRA supplement (stimulus) proposal allowed the addition of a postdoctoral to the UNH group this year. The Weisman labs are busy this summer with two postdocs, Barbara Li and Leon Wong (synthetic chemists from NZ and Australia respectively, both most recently at the University of Melbourne) and two undergraduates, Kaitlyn Dugan and David Wilk. Ed Wong is also helping advise all of them, especially Kaitlyn, who is doing some inorganic coordination chemistry along with ligand synthesis. In the last couple of years four Weisman group members have graduated: Dave Martin (M.S.) and Dan Stigers, Antoinette Odendaal, and Matt Young (all Ph.D.) (see the Alumni News section for their present endeavors). While Gary is as busy as ever, he tries to balance his life and stay healthy with some exercise, including bicycling and hiking. Gary was Gloria G. and Robert E. Lyle Professor from 2005-2009.

Ed Wong was on sabbatical in the fall of 2009. He spent some time at the University of Missouri at Saint Louis learning to do potentiometric titrations. This also gave him the chance to visit with Carolyn Anderson and her group across town at the Washington University School of Medicine. A collaborative research program with Carolyn and Gary Weisman, “Radiopharmaceuticals Based on Cross-Bridged Ligands”, continues to be funded generously by the NIH (NCI), to produce interesting and useful results, and to generate publications. A major review of the area was written this last year and has just appeared in Chemical Reviews. Ed has also undertaken new research as Co-PI on an NSF GOALI project (Dale Barkey Chem Eng PI) to identify copper via electroplating accelerants and inhibitors. Ed continues to enjoy teaching both inorganic lectures.

The Chuck Zercher research group is pleased that NIH has chosen to continue funding its investigation of zinc carbenoid-mediated chain extension reactions, which include applications to peptide isostere formation and natural product synthesis. The laboratory is as full with students as it has ever been, with five graduate and three undergraduate students working in the lab this summer. Chuck has been kept busy with his editorial responsibilities with Organic Syntheses, which included the assembly and publication of Collective Volume XI earlier this calendar year. Other activities included service on an NIH Study Section (Synthetic and Biological Chemistry B) and emotional preparation for his service as Department Chair, which has now commenced. Chuck is currently the Gloria G. and Robert E. Lyle Professor of Chemistry.